Microchip Releases Industry’s First SoC FPGA Development Kit Based on RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture

Microchip Releases Industry’s First SoC FPGA Development Kit Based on RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture

The growing popularity of the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) drives the need for an economical, standardized development platform that embeds RISC-V technology and leverages the diverse RISC-V ecosystem. In response to this need, Microchip Technology Inc. announced the industry’s first RISC-V-based SoC FPGA development kit. The development kit, called Icicle, is built for the industry-leading low-power, low-cost, RISC-V-based PolarFire® SoC FPGA, bringing together a wide range of Mi-V partners to help accelerate the deployment of customer designs across different industries and commercial applications.

Designers can now start developing and evaluating the broad RISC-V ecosystem products such as real-time operating systems (RTOS), debuggers, compilers, system-on-module (SOM), and security solutions to easily deploy RISC-V-based Program the SOC FPGA. The Mi-V RISC-V Partner Ecosystem is an expanding, comprehensive suite of tools and design resources developed by Microchip and numerous third parties to fully support RISC-V designs.

“Microchip is leading a revolutionary transformation in processor design as RISC-V software and silicon become widely available in the market,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “We are removing barriers to entry with a low-cost evaluation platform. With this platform, embedded engineers, software designers and hardware developers can take advantage of the open RISC-V ISA while designing with Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGAs with the industry’s best form factor, thermal and low power features. “

David Patterson, Vice Chairman of the RISC-V International Board of Directors and 2017 Turing Award recipient, said: “Low-power RISC-V boards for less than $500 are a stunner. Microchip’s Icicle kits include a PolarFire SoC that will Accelerating the development of the RISC-V software ecosystem is great news for applications requiring low-power mid-range SoC FPGAs.”

Microchip’s Icicle Toolkit for the PolarFire SoC and Mi-V Ecosystem integrates with the following services to support PolarFire SoC FPGAs:

RISC-V processor complex from SiFive and embedded trace macrocell from UltraSoC

Development tools from Adacore, Green Hills Software, Mentor Graphics, and Wind River

Complementary commercial RTOS solutions such as Nucleus and VxWorks with Microchip’s Linux® and bare metal solutions

· Middleware solutions from DornerWorks, Hex Five, Veridify Security and wolfSSL

· SOM and design services from organizations such as Antmicro, ARIES Embedded, Digital Core Technologies, Emdalo Technologies, Sundance DSP, and Trenz Electronic

For an up-to-date list of Mi-V partners, visit Microchip’s Mi-V Partner Ecosystem webpage.

The Icicle kit is centered on a PolarFire SoC with 250,000 logic elements, including PCIe® connectors, mikroBUS™ sockets, dual RJ45 connectors, Micro-USB connectors, CAN bus connectors, Raspberry Pi® pin connectors , JTAG port and SD card interface, providing developers with a full-featured development platform. Microchip’s fully designed, validated and tested power management and clocking devices, Ethernet PHY (VSC8662XIC), USB controller (USB3340-EZK-TR) and current sensor (PAC1934T-I/JQ) support the development board.

The total power consumption of PolarFire SoC FPGAs is 50% lower than that of competing products. By using SoC FPGAs, developers also gain additional opportunities for customization and differentiation through the device’s inherent upgradeability and ability to integrate functionality on a single chip. The PolarFire SoC FPGA family is available in a variety of packages and sizes to better balance application performance and power consumption, enabling customers to implement solutions in packages as small as 11 × 11 mm. Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle kits are ideal for smart embedded imaging, IoT, industrial automation, defense, automotive and communications applications.


Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle Kit (MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) will be available today starting at $489.00. PolarFire FPGAs are in volume production today, with early samples of SoC FPGAs available. For more information or to purchase a kit, please contact a Microchip sales representative or authorized distributor worldwide.

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